Why Gen Y Will Not Have a CareerPosted on March 28th, 2012
Do you think Gen Y is the greatest thing since Dance-Dance Revolution?
Or do you think Gen Y is like a Backstreet Boys comeback tour – lots of sparkle without much substance?
Wherever you fall on the I Heart Gen Y scale, one way or another there’s no escaping us.
Gen Y will be the shopkeepers of culture, work, religion, and politics before you can say “social-network-with-a-dash-of-Obama “.
However, as Gen Y/Millennials begin sitting at the “big persons table,” I don’t think Gen Y will necessarily have a career to go with it.
Let me explain.
A career is defined as an “occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.”
Yeah, I don’t think a majority of Millennials will have them one of these. Place that definition on a wooden floating vessel and push it out to sea.
In the Pew Research Center’s recent study: Young, Underemployed and Optimistic, the study states that “among all 18- to 34-year-olds, only 30% consider their current job a career.”
I don’t see that number dramatically increasing as we grow up.
3 Reasons Why Gen Y Will Not Have a Career
1. Career Feels Stifling
There is a permanence to the word career that I’m not sure Gen Y is comfortable with.
Career sounds stuffy and inescapable like getting lost in the back of your Aunt Martha’s closet.
Millennials won’t last long working in an office-assembly-line, repeating the same task over and over and over and over again. Gen Y’s idea of professional success isn’t sticking out the life-sucking job just so they can be promoted deeper into the job they already hate. Gen Y needs the space to breathe and create.
2. Gen Y is a Jack-of-All-Trades Generation
Gen Y has spent their lives dabbling. Being involved. Leading. Learning. Spreading ourselves thin. All the while, collecting various talents that weave together to form something unique and needed.
Millennials have too many interests and too little attention spans to focus on one thing for too long.
3. Gen Y’s Career Path Will Be More Lateral Than Vertical
The world is flat now with the ability to work anywhere, on anything, at anytime.
Gen Y won’t climb the ladder. Gen Y will swim from island to island, picking up necessary survival skills at each destination.
Gen Y’s professional path won’t always make sense, but their destination will.
What do you think about Gen Y’s career?
Photo Credit: Erin Leigh McConnell – Creative Commons